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Jennings ignites for 30 points as Bucks torch Pistons

The SportsXchange

By DANA GAURUDER

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Brandon Jennings knew he was cooling down late in the third quarter on Tuesday when he tossed up an airball on a 3-point attempt. By that time, he had already extinguished the Detroit Pistons.

Jennings scored 30 points, including a 16-0 personal run in the third quarter, as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled past the Pistons 117-90 at The Palace. He scored 20 points during the quarter, including four consecutive 3-pointers, before he misfired a 26-foot attempt.

"You always want that heat check to see if it's really for real," said Jennings, who only played 20 seconds in the fourth quarter of the blowout. "After the airball, I was like 'Alright, I'm going to chill out a little bit now.' "

Jennings did virtually the same thing against Golden State on Saturday, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the third quarter during a 109-102 victory.

"Brandon's play in the third quarter, what do you say about that other than ‘Wow!' " said Bucks coach Jim Boylan, who is 8-3 since taking over for Scott Skiles earlier this month. "It takes the life out of the opposing team when you've got a guy who gets hot like that. He's been doing that quite a bit lately."

Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and Monta Ellis chipped in 14 points and six steals for the Bucks (24-19), who moved five games over .500 for the first time this season.

Samuel Dalembert tossed in 12 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which tied its season high in points and has scored at least 108 points in each of its past five games. The Bucks, who led by as much as 30, received 59 points from their bench.

Rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Detroit (17-28), which had won the first two games of the season series. Greg Monroe added 14 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Knight, who had a career-high 31 points in a 104-102 victory over Orlando on Sunday, was limited to 10 points.

Detroit sixth man Rodney Stuckey, who was deactivated against the Magic for disciplinary reasons, returned to action but was held to seven points.

The Pistons were hampered by turnovers, as Milwaukee converted their 21 giveaways into 29 points.

"It was a strange game," Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva said. "They turned it up and it seemed like we couldn't get into the flow of things. They made their run and we couldn't (respond)."

Jennings was relatively quiet in the first half, but he erupted after the break, particularly from long range. His personal 16-0 run including four of his five 3-pointers during the quarter, turning the game into a blowout. The Bucks were up 85-56 when the barrage ended, and Milwaukee finished the quarter with a 91-68 lead.

Jennings averaged 12 points in the Bucks' losses to Detroit this season.

"At the end of the day, we have to put more into the game," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "This is a team we've beaten twice. You knew that they were going to come back with an edge. You knew a guy like Brandon Jennings, who had struggled in the two (previous) games, was going to come and try to play at a high level."

Dunleavy scored 14 of Milwaukee's 32 first-half bench points as the Bucks erased an early 15-point deficit and took a 52-42 halftime lead. Ekpe Udoh also gave Milwaukee a lift with three put-backs as the Bucks outscored the Pistons 33-14 during the second quarter, ending it with a 21-4 run.

"Our energy in the second quarter with that group that was in the game, that set the tone for us," Boylan said. "That got everybody's blood going a little bit."

NOTES: Dwight Howard is the only teenager other than Drummond to have at least 18 points and 18 rebounds in a game since 1985. ... The Bucks have scored at least 100 points in eight of their first 11 games under Boylan. ... Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., was honored at halftime. ... Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova averaged 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds the previous four games. He had just nine points and one rebounds Tuesday. ... Boylan tried to keep his team fresh by cancelling shoot-around. The Bucks began a stretch of four games in five nights. ... Monroe averaged 20.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in his previous six games against Milwaukee. ... Bucks center Larry Sanders, the league's top shot blocker, had just one block in 16 minutes.
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